Updated: Nov 27, 2018
Professional success goes way beyond just being employed. I’ve taken a ton of courses and workshops on learning to develop a professional brand for yourself. I’ve played both parts - the interviewer and the interviewee, and I truly believe professional branding is now an expectation. If you’re still contemplating whether it’s important or not, read my 4 tips below, and then decide!
1. Document everything
Take notes, pictures and samples of your work. Do it real-time. I learned this when I was actively searching for a job and was working on a physical portfolio. My work was scattered everywhere, and it was quite time consuming to put the pieces together of several years worth of work I wanted to showcase in my interviews. You can keep a file in your Google Drive account where content is stored, to be used when needed.
In my case, I have a separate website where I showcase some work I’ve done. Check it out for inspo here.
2. Business cards are important
Many corporations are steering away from physical business cards (my employer included), however it’s a simple and effortless method to share your contact information with someone. I have several versions, depending on where I am and what I want to promote about myself. VistaPrint has the best deals.
3. Allocate a budget for networking events & keep in touch
Networking events can get expensive, and quickly add up to thousands of dollars. Do your research on events that potentially spark an interest, set a small budget and increase as you go. Tip: don’t overdo it with networking events. If you’re the person that goes to every event, people will notice, and it won’t always work in your favour. Be selective.
If you establish networks with people, keep in touch with them! Don’t just go to them when you need a job. My favourite tactic are annual holiday cards. For over 5 years, I send out handwritten cards over the holidays. Trust me, it goes a long way.
4. Create interesting applications
Back to professional branding. Don’t create a boring black and white, Times New Roman font, 1 page text-filled resume. Everyone has an interesting part to them, show it in your application. Interviews are true personality tests. Don’t be an extremely bubbly person with a boring resume. Be consistent with your deliverables. Use the same branding for your resume, cover letter, portfolio, business cards, etc. Employers look for consistency and stability.
Those are my top 4 tips! Good luck!